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Top 7 Innovative Inventions of 2016

Top 7 Innovative Inventions of 2016

In 2015, I published a viral piece for the Inquisitr about the most underrated inventions of the 2010s, so far. Last year, we had the DNA testing app, which shocked the world of medicine. Also, the condoms that change colors whenever it encountered STD antigens was another underrated, yet genius invention.

Due to an eye-watering amount of inventions were introduced to the world this year, I figured it would only be right to expose you to more inventions. The following inventions not only sold units like hotcakes, they also made some sort of impact in the industry they dominate in. Below are seven of the top innovative inventions of 2016.

Ready?

7. The Levitating Lightbulb

flyte-lightbulb
    Credit: FLYTE

    On TIME’s 25 Best Inventions of 2016, this product topped their list. It’s called Flyte and it is a lightbulb relying solely on electromagnetism technology to levitate and spin around. This bulb design came from the same man who invented the first levitating skateboard: Simon Morris. However, the board never managed came off the ground.

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    Inspired by the likes of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, Morris says that Flyte has sold tremendously well since its release in January. A different line of ecosystem products is expected to be released in June of 2017.

    6. The Folding Bike Helmet

    morpher-folding-helmet
      Credit: Latest Gadgets UK

      With the helmet costing a little over $100, this folding helmet is the ultimate gift for any cyclist. Jeff Woolf, the inventor of Morpher, came up with this idea following a tragic accident that nearly took his life.

      One day, however, Woolf came up with the idea to create a bike helmet that can fit into any backpack. Utilizing Indiegogo, the Morpher concept was able to rack up over $300,000 in donations from the internet. The Morpher is expected to continue pushing units in the US and Europe.

      5. The StreetSaw Hoverboard

      streetsaw-hoverboard
        Credit: StreetSaw

        Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, StreetSaw’s self-balancing electric scooters are one of the greatest hoverboards ever invented. Its founder, Daniel Moravec, unveiled the first StreetSaw hoverboard at the Consumer Electronics Show, thus changing the personal transportation industry.

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        With millions of hoverboards sold, according to Roger Martin, a customer service representative at StreetSaw, more varieties and models are expected to be released in the future.

        4. PlayStation VR

        sony-playstation-vr
          Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

          In 2016, Sony decided to step its game up with a virtual reality headset. PlayStation VR, a great, powerful headset, is the next-generation of gaming. This VR product works with any existing PlayStation 4 console, increasing the intensity of your entertainment experience.

          It costs a couple hundred bucks, but it serves as one of the easiest ways to experience what all video games will look like in the future. According to VG247, although Sony showed up to the virtual reality industry late, it has already dominated all its competition, including HTC and Samsung.

          3. China’s Heavenly Space Station

          china-space-station-docking
            Credit: China Manned Space Engineering Office

            This invention is out of this world. Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, two Chinese astronauts, arrived in orbit with an orbital laboratory bigger than the International Space Station (ISS). The space station, Tiangong-2 (Heavenly Palace 2), was created with a wide exercise area and a medical experiment bay, TIME reported.

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            What is China’s next big move? Well, the Chinese government plans to launch an even bigger space station by 2018. It’s expected to be “comfier” than the ISS.

            2. “Real Life” Barbies

            real-life-barbies-mattel-toy-industry
              Credit: Mattel

              For the first time in nearly 57 years, Mattel, the creator of Barbies, gave the dolls a major facelift. Due to decreased sales, Mattel did something no one saw coming: they changed the appearance of their dolls into real-life human beings.

              Barbie dolls now come in different hair colors, styles, ethnic backgrounds, and shapes. Gone are the unrealistic, generic body figures that influenced young girls to follow. In 2016, the large move was marked as one of the biggest of all-time in the toy industry.

              1. The Speaker That Talks Back

              amazon-echo-speaker
                Credit: GeekLife

                Amazon has revolutionized the tech industry in countless ways. The Amazon Echo, a standard Bluetooth speaker, is one of their greatest inventions and best-selling products of 2016. Unlike Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, this speaker, using Alexa’s functionality, can use different apps, wake you up in the morning, call an Uber for you, turn off the lights in your home, and even order pizza.

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                It’s an extremely powerful speaker that can be purchased on Amazon for only $59, with the better models ranging from $99 and up. So now you know. Seeking your own personal assistant? Look no further, Alexa is here to help you anytime of the day.

                Bottom line: 2016 brought some amazing inventions that stunned the tech world. However, as we move forward, let’s see what 2017 will bring. Maybe a flying car? I’m crossing my fingers!

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                Jose Florez

                Mental Health Writer

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                Last Updated on April 22, 2021

                How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

                How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

                Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

                Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

                In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

                One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

                “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

                Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

                Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

                Motivation Is Not the Answer

                How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

                If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

                We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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                Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

                Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

                How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

                Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

                1. Define What a Win Looks Like

                In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

                Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

                Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

                When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

                4 Steps to Define a Win
                • Know the outcome you desire.
                • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
                • Write the outcome down.
                • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

                Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

                As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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                Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

                2. Evaluate Your Activity

                Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

                Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

                Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

                Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

                • Do now
                • Plan to do it later
                • Delegate to someone else
                • Delete it

                Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

                • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
                • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
                • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
                • Does this activity have to be done at all?

                Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

                3. Prioritize Your Calendar

                If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

                First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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                It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

                “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

                Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

                “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

                Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

                It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

                4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

                We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

                Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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                Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

                  But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

                  “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

                  Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

                  Use these questions to reflect on your day:

                  • What went well?
                  • What didn’t go well?
                  • What can I change?
                  • What do I need to start doing?
                  • What do I need to stop doing?

                  The Bottom Line

                  Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

                  Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

                  “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

                  Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

                  That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

                  More on Creating Healthy Routines

                  Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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